The holiday tradition we celebrate today began with a small band of immigrants who had suffered incredible hardship and had lost many of their friends and family. Yet, they gathered with American Indians who had befriended them to give thanks to God for the blessings they had received.
As the editorial below points out, Americans have officially set aside a day to give thanks, even at times in our history when the outlook was bleak. During our darkest hours, we still found reasons to be thankful. That is the case today, despite the gloomy economy. Here are just a few reasons we see.
✔ Although unemployment remains above 10 percent, the number of new jobless claims in October — 466,000 — was the lowest number since September of 2008.
✔ Consumer spending and personal income both rose more in October than economists anticipated, signaling, among other things, the possibility of a much better holiday retail season than occurred last year.
✔ New home sales also rose more than expected in October, to their highest level in more than a year, pointing to a recovery in the housing sector.
Thanksgiving, of course, is not primarily about the economy and material things. When most people gather today to carve the holiday bird or share other feast items, most of them, no doubt, will give thanks first for family and friends — the relationships that make life worthwhile.
Many also will give thanks for the liberty and rights we enjoy in this country. Whether your ancestors arrived on the Mayflower, were waiting on the shore to greet them, or were among the multiple waves of immigrants who have arrived steadily ever since, the freedom our ancestors fought for and the rights they bequeathed to us remain gifts deserving of our thanks.
So, too, are all of the millions of men and women who serve in our armed services, local police and fire departments — people willing to put themselves in harm’s way to protect us and our rights.
We in western Colorado have another reason to be thankful — the glorious landscape in which we live, with all of its opportunities for great outdoor activities.
Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers.